seven weeks later…

..we take another walk
8.2.23 ~ North Carolina Botanical Garden

When I woke up yesterday morning the dew point was only 61°F and the temperature was only 65°F (18°C)! Surprise! I couldn’t believe my eyes!! Perfect walking weather. Where on earth did it come from? Canada, the TV meteorologist informed, and it wasn’t going to stick around. So off we went, determined to make the most of a seemingly rare opportunity.

In the rush to get out the door I was so focused on not forgetting my hat that I forgot my camera! (How was that even possible???) So I made do with my cell phone’s camera, which I found very awkward to manipulate, especially since I couldn’t hang it around my neck with a strap and have my hands free whenever I wanted them. But it didn’t matter — I was OUTSIDE and enjoying every precious minute.

The flowers that sleep by night, opened their gentle eyes and turned them to the day. The light, creation’s mind, was everywhere, and all things owned its power.
~ Charles Dickens
(The Old Curiosity Shop)

I couldn’t find identification tags for many of the flowers and plants we saw, but some of the ones I matched up had very curious names.

American bladdernut
yellow pitcher plant (carnivorous)

I found this specimen of eastern hemlock, my childhood spirit tree, in the Mountain Habitat section of the gardens. Looking at a range map I see they do grow in the mountains of North Carolina, but not naturally here in the Piedmont region. It seemed scraggly but trying its best to grow in this locale. Notice the tiny new green cones growing above the brown ones.

♡ eastern hemlock ♡
plumleaf azalea
eastern tiger swallowtail
stokes’ aster
this large patch of oregano smelled yummy

It was such a refreshing morning saunter. And the low humidity stuck around for our afternoon visit to the farmers market, adding another pleasant outing to our day. Last week, when we went to the market for the first time on Wednesday, it was in the 90s and very humid. Two days later, when we picked Katie up on Friday, her last day of camp, it was 95°F (35°C) with a heat index of 105°F (41°C)!

19 thoughts on “seven weeks later…”

  1. A delight to have a dry day. Good decision to enjoy the gardens and a farmers market. I’m sure that was tough for Tim. Harder it isa funny name. I have never seen a yellow pitcher plant but it seems similar to a fly trap. The eastern hemlock is pretty I don’t remember seeing those before but probably did in your previous blog posts.Glad you got out of the house escaping cabin fever.

    1. I never realized there were different kinds of pitcher plants, I had only seen the one found in Connecticut. Yes, I get excited every time I see a hemlock, I grew up in a hemlock grove that was decimated by the woolly adelgid insect pest. It broke my heart every time I went home and saw the bare branches, and, after my father died, I stopped going up there. They are magnificent trees with tiny little cones I used to use as bushes in my little sandbox fairy villages… I climbed one regularly and soaked up its energy. I loved that tree.

  2. We’ve had some of that miserably HOT — and muggy! — weather, too. I find myself walking Monk in the early morning hours, just so we can endure it. How cool that you’re finding so many treasures in your new home! That aster is stunning, and I so love the swallowtail!

    1. I hope Monkey doesn’t burn his feet on hot pavement if you’re walking along the road. (I saw some dogs at the vet with burned feet on the news.) People around here are doing the same thing, walking their dogs very early in the day. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures — next time I’ll make sure to bring my good camera!

  3. After all that heat and humidity, no wonder you were thrilled with some cool northern air!
    We’ve been blessed with the same high pressure system since Sunday and what a relief after all that relentless rain. Our town made the news as having the highest rainfall of the entire 50 states during July at 21″… good golly! Fame I’d rather not have, thank you!

    1. Wow, that’s incredible, Eliza! Amazing! Did you have any flooding from the rain like they had in Vermont? We’ve gotten a few impressive downpours here last month, but no records set that I know of. I had to laugh, I finally got all the ingredients to make your electrolyte recipe and then the weather cooled off. But I’m ready now for the heat and humidity when it returns. 🙂

      1. Similar to VT, but we got hit 3x. Lots of road damage to the tune of $2 million… we are a small town and cannot afford this bill! Fingers crossed the state and feds help us out with this one.
        You’ll be ready for your next heat wave. 🙂 If the lemon juice bothers your stomach, you can use less.

        1. That’s a lot of road damage. Governments are going to have a lot of stepping up to do to help us all with the effects of climate change. The chickens have come home to roost. Will keep in mind to adjust the lemon juice if needed. I’m ready — it’s supposed to get to 91° today but I’m still sitting here with my sweater on this morning.

  4. This has been an odd summer for weather patterns everywhere from what I can tell. I’m intrigued with the yellow pitcher plant (carnivorous). Oh my!

    1. I suspect predictable weather patterns are a thing of the past. I had no idea there were different kinds of pitcher plants. I had assumed the ones we had in Connecticut were the only kind. I wished I could have seen it in action. 😉

  5. Congratulations to you and Tim on your first big meander since moving to North Carolina. Whew to the dew points being a bit more manageable. We are creeping up again after a respite of a few days from the muggies – ugh and once again the words “severe weather” are being bandied about for Sunday – I hope it fizzles out. I know in the depths of Winter, I will rue that I whined about these hot days. Today I heard that El Nino 2023 is essentially a “Super El Nino” … hearing that filled me with some dread, even fear, until this Michigan meteorologist said “less snow will make half my followers happy and the other half miserable.” So guess which camp I am in Barbara? Your photos are wonderful and yes, no freedom of arms free during your walk, but also in the heat, it’s less burdensome to carry the big camera around. Good for you mastering picture-taking on the phone. My favorite shots were the delicate flowers, (even that “hungry” pitcher plant), but that delicate Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is my favorite. I’ve never seen oregano, except in a jar. I need to expand my horizons I think!

    1. Thank you, Linda! Our humidity is creeping back up, too. Apparently this El Niño should bring cooler, wetter winter than average here, but not necessarily snow. I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of weather the changing seasons have to offer down here. They do get snow on rare occasions. It was fun capturing that eastern tiger swallowtail. It stayed relatively still for long moments, drinking the nectar deeply and sometime sharing a blossom with a bee or two. Hope you find an herb garden to visit somewhere in your locale one of these days. The smells are wonderful coming from such unremarkable-looking plants.

      1. Driving home today, I heard the “Farmer’s Almanac” rep giving the long-range Winter forecast and they’re calling for a lot of snow. The local meteorologists always poo-poo the Almanac’s prognostications, even snobbily suggesting believing them is like relying on the groundhog. We shall see!

        1. Time will tell! We had a terrific thunderstorm Monday night but we didn’t lose power, even though lots of people in North Carolina did, including Larisa. Today workers came around cleaning up all the twigs, branches and pine needles scattered on the roads and sidewalks. I’m guessing this happens pretty often.

          1. I did hear about that storm come to think of it – I know they said Charlotte got hit pretty hard. Glad you didn’t have any damage – hopefully Larisa didn’t have any nor lose a lot of food.

    1. Thank you, Donna! Sounds like a lot of us have been getting a delightful break from the heat and humidity! Glad you had a chance to get out and enjoy some nature in the great weather. 🙂

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